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Fibroid Awareness Month: How Three Women Found Relief from Fibroid Symptoms

Our team at Fibroid Institute Texas believes it is important to educate women experiencing life-altering uterine fibroid symptoms through critical awareness efforts such as July’s Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month. This often-debilitating condition has symptoms ranging from painful periods and back pain to fatigue, constipation, anemia, infertility, miscarriages and more. While some women don’t experience symptoms, many do. This is why we want to remain at the forefront of a non-invasive treatment option that empowers these patients to look beyond fibroid surgery as the only choice. We foster a supportive environment to raise awareness of another treatment option and a way to reclaim their life.

So in honor of July’s Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month in Texas, a statewide event to draw attention to this highly underfunded and under-discussed condition, three patients have come forward to share their experiences with the community.

Janiece’s Story: Bleeding, Cramps Are Common Fibroid Symptoms

Janiece knew something was wrong when she started experiencing heavy bleeding similar to her former menstrual cycles. She had been going through menopause and stopped bleeding for over a year when she started back up again. Along with the bleeding were painful cramps in her lower back and stomach area. It wasn’t until she visited her gynecologist that they discovered through ultrasound that she had five fibroids—each roughly the size of a golf ball.

Janiece’s Fibroid Symptoms
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Painful cramps
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation

After doing some research and mulling over her options, Janiece found Fibroid Institute Texas where she learned about an innovative procedure called UFE.

It was then that she said, “I should really give them a call.”

About UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization)

UFE is a safe, highly effective minimally invasive procedure to treat fibroid symptoms.  Rather than removing fibroids with numerous incisions, UFE stops blood flow feeding the fibroids—causing them to shrink and die. Performed by an interventional radiologist, small particles are injected through a tiny catheter at the wrist using image-guided interventional radiology. The particles are introduced through the uterine arteries into the fibroid vessels, blocking the blood flow to the fibroids. UFE is low risk, has no incision, and is faster than some other options.

The procedure will last about one hour, and you will be asleep for the procedure. You can resume light activities as soon as you feel up to it.

Just a few advantages of UFE at Fibroid Institute include the following:

  • Over 90% improvement in fibroid symptoms
  • No hospital stay
  • Recovery time only 7-10 days
  • No abdominal (belly) incision
  • Tiny wrist puncture
  • No blood loss or scarring
  • Treat multiple fibroids at once
  • Uterus is spared
  • Covered by most medical insurance
  • Centers 100% focused on helping women with fibroids

Janiece said women with painful fibroids need to realize that their symptoms aren’t normal and that doing their research is very important. She added, “That’s what I did, and I’m a testimony to it. I don’t have any pain. I feel great.”

Do you need relief from painful fibroid symptoms?

Schedule a consult with Fibroid Institute, national advocates for treatment without fibroid surgery.

Lawana’s Story: UFE Helped Avoid a Future Hysterectomy

Lawana struggled with painful cramping and heavier-than-normal menstrual cycles for 10 years without realizing fibroids were the culprit. Once she was finally diagnosed, her gynecologist insisted a hysterectomy was the answer. However, she was also advised that because her fibroids were so large, a UFE procedure could shrink the fibroids first to pave the way for an eventual hysterectomy.

Lawana didn’t want to go through invasive surgery. She was also apprehensive about UFE, but she was ready to try to at least make her hysterectomy a little easier. By shrinking the fibroids first, it would allow her gynecologist to perform a laparoscopic hysterectomy versus an open hysterectomy.

Lawana’s Fibroid Symptoms
  • Pain during cycles
  • Painful cramps
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Urinary frequency and urgency

Lawana didn’t want to go through invasive surgery. She was also apprehensive about UFE, but she was ready to try to at least make her hysterectomy a little easier. By shrinking the fibroids first, it would allow her gynecologist to perform a laparoscopic hysterectomy versus an open hysterectomy.

Interesting Facts About UFE as a Pre-Surgical Option

Depending on your situation, a hysterectomy or myomectomy may be the best course of action to help relieve symptoms and pain related to your fibroids. These surgeries are also very common. In fact, more than 600,000 hysterectomies and 30,000 myomectomies are performed in the United States annually. With that said, both are invasive and bloody operations that can require blood transfusions to achieve a successful outcome. As a result, more and more doctors today refer their patients for UFE prior to scheudling a hysterectomy or myomectomy.

With UFE completed before a hysterectomy or myomectomy, blood flow to the fibroids is blocked. And with fibroids no longer creating chaos for the impending surgery, you receive a better outcome with fewer complications.

More importantly, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology states that as many as 1 in 5 women in the United States whose doctor recommended a hysterectomy didn’t need one and that 37.7% of women included in the study didn’t undergo alternative treatment prior to surgery.

UFE Is as Easy as 1-2-3

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Lawana is still doing fantastic and symptom-free after her UFE procedure. Not only did the fibroids shrink, but she feels so good that there is no need to proceed with a hysterectomy. Compared to before the procedure, her period flow is lighter and her cramping and urinary symptoms both improved dramatically.

When asked about the UFE process and if it was easy, Lawana said, “Once I was there for procedure, it was a piece of cake. One little dot in your arm; you wake up, and your fibroids have been shrunk. I was given pain meds and had to take everything at a certain time, so I never had pain or discomfort because I followed what I was told.”

Wondering “is UFE right for me?”

Download a free checklist to see if you are a candidate for fibroid treatment without surgery.

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Martina’s Story: You Don’t Have to Be Burdened With Fibroid Pain

Lastly, we introduce Martina, whose story is slightly different from Lawana’s in that she was told the only option to alleviate her extended and heavy periods, unexpected leaks, fatigue, swollen abdomen, and other debilitating symptoms was to have a hysterectomy. UFE was never presented as an option—even as a potential pre-surgical option. The problem was that Martina didn’t want surgery. She was only 36 at the time, and she and her husband both felt that uterus removal was not a good idea.

Martina’s message to other woman: get a second opinion. When Martina visited our fibroid specialists at Fibroid Institute Texas, she learned she wasn’t just dealing with one or two fibroids—she had 16, from the size of a grapefruit to the size of a golf ball. “When they said they could fix this, it was an amazing moment.”

Martina’s Fibroid Symptoms
  • Heavy periods
  • Extended periods
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen abdomen

Hysterectomy Is Not the Only Fibroid Treatment

Any woman whose doctor told her that she needs a hysterectomy has probably wondered if she should get a second opinion. Granted, a hysterectomy has long been the surgical answer for treating many women’s health issues, including painful uterine fibroids. And by the age of 60, one in every three women will have had one. But while having a hysterectomy may be the only choice for many women, it might not be necessary for others. In fact, many doctors still see hysterectomies as the best—and only—solution for their patients and possibly don’t entertain less invasive options. Therefore, getting a second opinion is a good idea.

If your doctor insists on a hysterectomy, here are a few questions to ask:       

  1. Why are you recommending a hysterectomy?
  2. What are the pros and cons?
  3. Is this my only option?
  4. If this isn’t my only option, what alternatives exist for my specific situation?
  5. Can I wait to see if my condition improves?

Fibroid treatment doesn’t have to be invasive. In fact, more women than ever are opting to forego bloody surgeries that come with risks. If you are a candidate for a procedure other than a hysterectomy, UFE could be an option. UFE is over 90% effective at eliminating fibroid symptoms. By opting for a minimally invasive approach, a woman who fears fibroid surgery or isn’t a candidate can avoid all of that and still achieve highly successful results.

The expert doctors and specialized team at Fibroid Institute Texas have helped thousands of women discover the joys of living #FibroidFree. With each UFE procedure, patients are empowered to achieve their full potential without fibroid symptoms.

Painful periods, back pain, cramps, and bloating are all fibroid symptoms. We want to help you get your life back!

Schedule a consult with the fibroid experts at Fibroid Institute Texas.

Seeking another opinion was the right choice for Martina. Both she and her husband were thrilled to find a fibroid doctor who offered an alternative to hysterectomy. Her procedure only took about two hours. Her husband was able to take her home a short while after. The doctors at Fibroid Institute checked on her that afternoon and again the next day. Fast forward to Matina’s post-procedure follow-up: her flow during regular cycles is much lighter than it was previously, and her abdomen became noticeably smaller.

Our Fibroid Experts and UFE Specialists Want to Help

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At Fibroid Institute, we are dedicated to educating and empowering women on fibroid treatment options. With multiple locations, our Houston and Dallas fibroid centers help thousands of women avoid fibroid surgery but find relief from their fibroid symptoms. Our fibroid doctors are board-certified interventional radiologists and experts who are passionate about helping women become #FibroidFree. Dr. Suzanne Slonim and Dr. John Fischer are highly experienced UFE specialists, 100% focused on fibroid issues.

With each UFE procedure, patients quickly realize they don’t have to be limited by fibroid symptoms or lengthy recovery times. For many women with fibroids, the UFE procedure changed their lives. Meet some of these women here:

Request a free 10-15 minute phone screening to determine if you are eligible. After the screening, if you qualify for UFE, you can schedule your onsite or telehealth consultation. Most major medical insurance providers cover the cost of UFE.

We are dedicated to helping you become #FibroidFree. Get started now with Fibroid Institute Dallas at 214-838-6440 or with Fibroid Institute Houston at 713-903-3733 or complete the form below.

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Fibroid Institute Texas serves the Dallas and Houston areas including Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Frisco, Craig Ranch, McKinney, Allen, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, HEB, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Dallas, Sherman, Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Webster, Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Universal City, Spring, Kingwood, Stafford, Conroe, Texas City, Cypress, League City, Bellaire, and more.

Prior to starting any new treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

*Patient stories are true. Names and/or photos may be changed to protect patient confidentiality.

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